Over 4,000 fighters quit Boko Haram – Report
No fewer than 4,000 members of the Boko Haram have quit the terror group over safety and other concerns.
The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) said in a report that the deserters were leaving from the four Lake Chad Basin countries – Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
Since 2009, Boko Haram has killed thousands and displaced millions in the four nations, where it has sought to establish Islamic caliphates.
In the 28-page report, ISS disclosed that the insurgents either joined willingly, were conscripted or abducted and held captives in Boko Haram strongholds.
Although the report stated that accurate figures were hard to come by, the estimates of desertions were 2,400 desertions in Chad, 1,000 in Nigeria, 584 in Cameroon and 243 in Niger.
“Motives for leaving Boko Haram include individual circumstances, safety concerns and the groups’ internal dynamics, among others.
“On the individual level, some people disengage because their expectations – based on religious ideals or economic opportunities – have not been met.
“For others, poor living conditions in the camps are a factor. The exposure to intensifying military offensives such as air strikes by Lake Chad Basin countries and the effective deployment of the Multinational Joint Task Force make the situation untenable,” the report read in part.
It further stated that many of the insurgents were discouraged by the unrelenting surveillance from the top hierarchy resulting in harsh restrictions and corporal punishment for those who flouted the group’s laid down rules.
“These rules include ‘immorality’, stealing, drug abuse, etc. Within the group, the uneven application of rules fosters a sense of injustice. In some cases, the death penalty is applied. Inter-faction rivalries and violence have also caused people to leave,” the report further read.